Oaklawn among four Michigan hospitals to receive highest federal ranking

Oaklawn among four Michigan hospitals to receive highest federal ranking

MARSHALL – Oaklawn Hospital is one of just four hospitals in Michigan and 102 U.S. hospitals to earn five stars – the highest possible – in a new ranking announced July 27 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Other Michigan hospitals to receive the highest possible ranking are Holland Community Hospital, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Chelsea and McLaren-Northern Michigan in Petoskey.

“This is the first time CMS has utilized the star-rating system,” said Jane Jones, Oaklawn’s executive director of organizational excellence.

Jones explained that, under the ranking system, the single composite grade reflects a broad range of measures of quality in the categories of mortality, safety of care, readmissions, patient experience, effectiveness of care, timeliness of care and efficient use of medical imaging.

Hospitals reported the data to the agency through the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program and the Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting Program, Jones said. CMS then used a clustering algorithm to assign hospitals a star rating on a one-to-five scale.

The agency reported that, out of 3,662 eligible hospitals, 102 hospitals earned a five-star rating; 934 hospitals earned four stars; 1,770 hospitals earned three stars; 723 hospitals earned two stars; and 133 hospitals earned one. CMS did not assign ratings to 937 hospitals because they did not meet reporting criteria.

“Receiving this ranking is a validation of our work over a long period of time,” Jones said. “It’s very gratifying that those efforts are noticed in this way.”

The recognition also reflects Oaklawn’s philosophy that “people come first,” said Oaklawn President and CEO Ginger Williams.

“As we’ve pointed out before, results such as these show that we are in the people business providing healthcare, rather than the healthcare business treating people,” Williams said, adding that the ranking reflects performance standards that demand sustainable systematic change.

“We always strive to maintain a forward-thinking philosophy that anticipates change at all levels of patient care and health-care administration, and to cultivate the atmosphere of a small community hospital that thinks – and behaves – like a much larger institution,” she said.

Williams said positive outcomes are achieved only by doing what she described as a “deep dive” into the processes contributing to the outcomes.

“That may mean making multiple changes and – most importantly – sustaining those changes,” she said. “That’s a daunting, complex and long-term commitment for any health-care organization and requires a systematic approach, as one may not see the results of any changes in publicly reported measures for one or two years.

“Every day, we do whatever is necessary to improve,” Williams said. “That might include new or revised policies and procedures, additional or different equipment, or changes in personnel, providers or staffing. It’s a consistent, ongoing process.”

The public may view the overall hospital ratings at Medicare’s Hospital Compare website, found at www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare.